Career Development

Excellent scientific skills are a critical component of research training for predoctoral students and postdoctoral research fellows. But successful research training needs to go beyond bench work and data analysis. It should introduce trainees to the many skill sets required to be successful in academic biomedical research, such as:

  • Communications
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Mentoring and didactic skills
  • Public policy
  • Scientific writing and editing
  • Working with the health care and pharmaceutical industries

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Research Training (OPART) enhances the research training experience at Mayo Clinic through the following offerings.

Seminars in career and professional development

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recognized the importance of a broad research training experience to prepare the next generation of biomedical research leaders. OPART's Career and Professional Development Seminar Series introduces trainees to the wide variety of career opportunities available in biomedical research.

At these seminars, leaders in the fields of research, publishing, education, industry, clinical laboratory medicine and public affairs, among others, share their insights into successful pathways and tool sets needed to succeed in all of these professional endeavors.

Practical applications workshops

OPART and other Mayo Clinic groups offer constantly evolving practical workshops to enhance the experience of research training at Mayo Clinic. For example, daylong workshops are offered that explore the development of a competitive grant proposal or an outstanding scientific publication.

Other workshops address basic lab setup, building an effective work group, mentorship, effective teaching, developing a business plan and putting individual development plans to work. Many other topics are covered, and workshops are created as needed to meet newly developing career trends and needed talent sets.


OPART is developing the Mayo Clinic Research Externship Program to meet the needs of research students and fellows by better preparing them for successful careers in science. The program supplements traditional research training by illuminating career options different from those chosen by current mentors.

Intensive 100-hour externship experiences are being developed to provide insight and networking opportunities in a number of scientific careers, including:

  • Biomedical device and drug marketing
  • Clinical laboratory management
  • Clinical professional education
  • Intellectual property management
  • Liberal arts undergraduate education
  • Science policy at the government and foundation level
  • Scientific publication

Mayo Clinic Research Day

Every other year, research and clinical students and fellows gather to enjoy a day of presentations and poster sessions with a keynote address from a national scientific leader. Attendees network and discuss their research with colleagues, faculty members, medical students and graduate students.

This is an outstanding way to develop presentation skills and get professional feedback in an open and casual setting.

Young Investigator Research Symposium

The Mayo Clinic Young Investigator Research Symposium is a weekend-long event that takes place every other year at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

The event provides scientific research education for young investigators. It is also a forum for career and professional development for students, residents, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members, and it encourages communication between researchers in related fields. Outstanding achievements are recognized during the event.